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Concerned community members gather at Gethsemane

Albany Police Chief John Proctor, standing left, is flanked by Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul as Gethsemane Worship Center Pastor Fredrick Williams, front left, and community activist David Blackwell listened to citizens concerns about community violence during a lunch gathering at the church on Tuesday.

Albany Police Chief John Proctor, standing left, is flanked by Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul as Gethsemane Worship Center Pastor Fredrick Williams, front left, and community activist David Blackwell listened to citizens concerns about community violence during a lunch gathering at the church on Tuesday.

ALBANY, Ga. -- Alarmed by the shooting deaths of two young men Sunday night, Fredrick Williams, pastor of the Gethsemane Worship Center and director of Taking Authority: Stop the Violence, held a community gathering Monday at the church.

Flanked by Albany Police Chief John Proctor and Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul, Williams told the packed house, "We must make a push in our communities to wake up and see what is going on in our neighborhoods. We cannot live in fear; we refuse to live in fear. We must react."

To that end, Williams announced a prayer vigil scheduled Thursday afternoon "around 5:30" near South Madison Street and Oakridge Drive.

Several of those in attendance expressed the hopes and fears of their neighborhoods.

On Sunday night, William Lamont Davis Jr. and Desmond Treon Williams were killed while standing near a vehicle outside a residence at 514 Willard Ave. when the occupants of another vehicle drove by and opened fire.

Dougherty County prosecutors say the victims were Blood gang members.

"I live on a street away from where the incident took place," Willie Stephens said. "We have to do something to combat the apathy in our community. We have people shooting kids, and nobody called to get them off of the street."

A woman who refused to give her name said, "The biggest problem we got is kids raising kids. We need to band together and take our streets back."

"I live in the southside, and I don't feel safe walking in my neighborhood," Ingrid Wilcox said. "There are still young men out on the street doing the same thing as what happened Sunday."

Terry Holt said he could identify with those young men because he was once one of them.

"I came up on the streets myself, and I thought I had to deal dope, steal and rob to survive," Holt said. "There is so much talent out there that is being wasted. I know because I deal with them every day. I tell them God transformed me and that somebody cares and loves them."

Katie Williams added there is still hope for the future.

"I still believe there is hope for our youth," she said. "They need to know that they are destroying their own communities. A lot of these killings from these gangs is over stupid stuff. There is something going on in their minds that we aren't getting."

"These kids know each other. Sometimes they are related, and they are killing each other," Proctor said. "We have to stop this; we have to save our kids."

Comments

rightasrain 1 year ago

But they's were good kids! "Stop the Violence" has been an Albany theme for YEARS and it hasn't been stopped yet.

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J.D._Sumner 1 year ago

Are you expecting violence to stop altogether? If so you're living a pipe dream. And whose to say it isn't working? Last year we had the lowest number of homicides in Albany (4) in the last 40 years.

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KaosinAlbany 1 year ago

Is this your "Brightside piece" J.D.?

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KaosinAlbany 1 year ago

J.D. how about doing some investigating journalism. The house where the murders happened Sunday is owned by guess who? DCED.

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jglass 1 year ago

Violence will never stop. However, once the suspects are caught and if proven guilty of the crimes committed........stop slapping them on the wrist. Make examples of them and hopefully others will stop following pursuit. Why on earth would someone enjoy killing another human being? This just makes no sense to me and this is happening on a daily basis now in Albany.

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RedEric 1 year ago

Children crave discipline. They need to know what their limits are. They do not get this in a household where they are considered nothing but an increase in welfare. Gangs provide that discipline. That comfort of belonging. Gangs are ready made distribution networks for drug importers and collection systems for stolen goods. They are minions for high level criminals. The first gang that rejects the minion status and becomes productive will become very successful.

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waltspecht 1 year ago

It is really simple folks, tell the Police what you know. As long as people do not speak out against individuals perpetrating these crimes, the crimes will continue. The criminals know the no snitch rule protects them. This is one of the dumbest things out there. Don't snitch or they will come get you. However while they are still out there they will endanger and extract tribute from you in one form or another. Whether it be you freedom to feel safe, or actual extortion. Time to provide Police the information they need to clean these vermin off the streets. Time for the Police to step up and persue active Policing, targeted areas of concern and street stops.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year ago

It's what these "no-snitch" neighbors have in common with the citizens Nazi Germany. Just ignore it and maybe it won't affect you. But it's self delusion. Plus there is the reverse racism of hating "the man" this time in the form of the police (who actually look a lot like the neighbors...if you think about it). That's how stupid no-snitch is.

"All it takes for Evil to prosper is for Good People to do NOTHING".

"To the one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin" James 4:17 God Said It!

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GeeGee 1 year ago

Not all crime is violence. If your house is vacant for any period of time, it will be broken into. Leave a bike or skateboard outside, it will be gone. They will come and steal a rose bush or a broken bike off of your front porch. That is the reason I moved from Albany and never have I had anything stolen yet after leaving. Your head is in the sand if you think Albany is crime free. It is just not the murder capital, yet. And when a person gets caught for these crimes, they never do any time. Cops will not even fingerprint a crime scene. They do not want to be bothered.

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